LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Clippers forward Matt Barnes has reportedly apologized for making profane comments to the mother of Rockets guard James Harden in the heat of playoff basketball.
Barnes made the expletive-laced remark to Harden’s mother Monja Willis during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, ,according to TMZ.
Willis told TMZ her older son later confronted Barnes about his comments and told him to apologize.
He reportedly then offered his apology and explained that “he would never want to disrespect anyone’s mother because his mother passed from cancer,” TMZ reported.
And while Barnes’ exact quote to Willis is unfit for publication, a source – “someone who absolutely would know” – told CBS Sports Radio reporter Nick Wright the phrase was as dirty as they come. (Warning: expletive language)
After the game, Rockets coach Kevin McHale told reporters that even during the Celtics’ legendary postseason battles with the Earvin “Magic” Johnson-led Lakers, comments about players’ family members were always out of bounds.
“You got something to say, say it to the guy you’re playing against,” said McHale. “I never thought about talking bad about Magic’s mother…it was hard enough talking (expletive) to Magic.
“We all talk smack, but nothing like…my goodness, that thought never even crossed your mind.”
Barnes could face a hefty fine for his conduct from the league office.
The confrontation followed a controversial post made on Barnes’ Instagram account wishing Clippers guard Chris Paul a happy birthday along with a Photoshopped image of Paul wearing a cowboy hat as he defends a Rockets player that appears to be Harden.
The Clippers will face the Rockets at Staples Center for Game 3 on Friday night.